THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
Before the current Conservative Police Commissioner took office our local police force had its own dedicated helicopter to assist in operations around Dyfed Powys.
Thanks to legislation from the previous Conservative and Lib Dem Government, police air support was instructed to centralise, leading to the creation of the National Police Air Service (NPAS).
The result: Dyfed Powys – the largest geographical constabulary in England and Wales – and the first ever police force to own a helicopter has lost its treasured asset.
Picture: Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards with the helicopter crew at its former Pembrey base.
A BROKEN PROMISE
Plaid Cymru politicians lead the campaign to safeguard the dedicated helicopter, but official papers show the Police Commissioner – who even sits on the NPAS Committee – did not oppose its loss.
This is despite the current Commissioner pledging during his 2012 election to “fight to save Dyfed Powys police helicopter so police can reach all areas.”
With a Police Commissioner more interested in appeasing his Conservative party colleagues in Westminster than honouring his election pledge, what chance did we have?
A SECOND CLASS SERVICE
With the Conservative Commissioner giving away the helicopter keys, our attention has to turn to ensuring Dyfed Powys communities do not lose out from the new service. There are already examples of Police Commissioners in England raising concerns that NPAS is not providing the level of service it promised!
Plaid Cymru will be monitoring the new service very closely, and will take all steps to ensure NPAS sticks to its promised coverage. But with a Dafydd Llywelyn as our new Police Commissioner, you will have reassurance that our local Commissioner will not allow Dyfed Powys to receive a second-class service.
DAFYDD LLYWELYN SAYS:
“Had I been the Police Commissioner over the last few years I can say wholeheartedly that I would have stopped at nothing to protect our dedicated helicopter.
“Taxpayers throughout Dyfed Powys have paid for it. Now their resource will be sold off and its profits put into the centralised police air service.
“I have no doubt that response times will now increase in Dyfed Powys as our communities lose helicopter support to more urban areas.
“As Police Commissioner I would not accept a second-class service for mid and west Wales, and kindly ask for your support to ensure our communities have a Commissioner who will honour their promises to the public.”
The campaign to safeguard the police helicopter was spearheaded by Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards. You can see much more about this campaign on his website here